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mallard duck in question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I was recently startled by a female mallard duck, as I unknowingly got to close to her nest. Up against the side of my house, behind my dead brush from last years mum plant but also in my main garden. She is sitting on 8 eggs.

 

A couple questions? One, I know when I till next weekend, it'll scare her to death, but will she return when things calm back down? Second, since I have no clue how long she has been sitting on them, what if she is still there when I need to put in my garden in a couple weeks? Will her and the chicks eat my newly planted garden?

 

Thanks in advance. Did sneak a picture so I could see her close up:)

 

post #2 of 6

Unless you live right next to a body of water, a few days after the ducklings hatch she should lead them away to a pond or something. I can't say for certain if she will or will not come back after you till, some ducks would so ducks wouldn't it depends on the duck. You could try and not till the area a foot or 2 around her to see if she'll stand her ground.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

at the back of our property, on the neighbors property, their is a huge pond/small lake. So, I am sure she will be gone with her ducklings, after they hatch. Do you think she will eat my garden vegetables prior to leaving? That's what I am concerned about and of course if she will return after tilling. Where she built the nest, it will be about 2 feet away, so I am good there. Thanks!

post #4 of 6
She might snack bit on your plants but seeing how few ducklings she'll have the damage should be minimal. Again I can't be certain if she'll come back after you till, she may think you ate her eggs and leave. I will be optimistic and say her motherly instincts will override her fear and chances are good she'll return. She'll probably take her ducklings to the pond, though they may hangout for a few days while the babies get nice and strong for the journey.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hope all goes well....as I found her nest yesterday, and she few off most likely to distract, we trimmed and cut the grass, and feared she would not return, but see her sitting all day today that's when I snapped the pictures, at a distance of course.

 

Hope all goes well....thanks a lot!

post #6 of 6
I had a hen mallard that came in to my place with a drake in tow, for many years. Don't even know if it was the same hen. Anyway, for a while they would come and eat chicken food at feeding time, then take a bath in the stock tank, then wander around a bit. After a week or two of that, and Drake fights if another Drake would show up, they would get things figured out and the hen would go off to sit on her nest. Never did see it, and if my dogs found it, they did not bother her. The drake would hang out for a while, then head back to the ponds behind our place.. Once or twice I saw her headed back to the pond with her brood in tow. Most years, I never saw her go. I don't think she stayed this year. I stopped tossing feed on the ground like I used to do. She and a drake were here for a couple of days, then moved on. I didn't have a garden, but I would not worry. Once the babies are hatched, she will head back to her pond.
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